cancel culture
August 19, 2020

Goodyear is offering a clarification of its policy on employees' support for political candidates as President Trump calls for a boycott.

Trump in a tweet on Wednesday urged his supporters to not buy Goodyear tires because, he wrote, "They announced a BAN ON MAGA HATS." He was referring to a report showing an image of what appeared to be a Goodyear training slide in Topeka, Kansas, listing "MAGA attire," "Blue Lives Matter," and politically-affiliated material as "unacceptable" at work, while "Black Lives Matter" and "Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender pride" was listed as "acceptable."

Goodyear in a statement on Wednesday said that this image "was not created or distributed by Goodyear corporate, nor was it part of a diversity training class." The company's policy, it explained, is that employees are asked "not to engage in political campaigning of any kind in the workplace," and it discourages "forms of advocacy" at work "that fall outside the scope of racial justice and equity issues."

In reference to the presence of Blue Lives Matter on the "unacceptable" list in the viral image, Goodyear addressed beliefs the company is "anti-police." "Nothing could be further from the truth," the statement said, "and we have the upmost [sic] appreciation for the vital work police do on behalf of our shared communities."

The company's statement didn't respond directly to Trump's call for a boycott, but shortly after the president posted his tweet, Goodyear's stock fell three percent. CNN notes the irony of the president going after Goodyear after previously railing against "cancel culture" and takes note of the fact that Goodyear, according to a 2009 statement from the company, is "the exclusive tire for the presidential limo and the standard tire of the U.S. Secret Service." Brendan Morrow

July 13, 2020

The White House has sent reporters at several mainstream media organizations a lengthy list of comments Dr. Anthony Fauci made early on in the COVID-19 pandemic, in an apparent push to undermine the nation's top federal infectious disease expert after he publicly disagreed with President Trump's optimistic assessment of the growing outbreak in the U.S. An unidentified White House official told The Washington Post, CNN, and other news organizations over the weekend that "several White House officials are concerned about the number of times Dr. Fauci has been wrong on things."

The list includes comments Fauci made as early as January that, while reflecting the scientific thinking on the new coronavirus at the time, are now believed to be incorrect. In some cases, they truncated his comments to leave off warnings about the disease. The White House is essentially treating Fauci "as if he were a warring political rival," The New York Times reports, and the list of his comments is "laid out in the style of a campaign's opposition research document." The bullet points "resembled opposition research on a political opponent," CNN concurs. The list was also sent to NBC News.

Fauci and Trump have never seen eye-to-eye on the disease, and their early apparent rapport has publicly frayed; the Times says the split widened when Fauci dismissed the efficacy of Trump's favored treatment, hydroxychloroquine, while the Post adds in policy disagreements over face masks and reopening businesses and schools. "Trump is also galled by Fauci's approval ratings," the Post reports, noting a recent Times/Siena College poll showing 67 percent of voters trusting Fauci on the pandemic versus 26 percent who trusted Trump.

A senior administration official told CNN some White House officials don't trust Fauci because they don't think he has Trump's best interests in mind, pointing to statements were he publicly disagreed with Trump.

After CBS's Margaret Brennan noted last Sunday that Face the Nation had tried unsuccessfully to book Fauci for three months, White House communications officials — who, along with Michael Caputo, a Trump ally and Roger Stone friend who runs communications at the Department of Health and Human Services, have to approve all coronavirus-related TV appearances — agreed to book Fauci on PBS NewsHour, CNN, and NBC's Meet the Press, the Post reports. After Fauci disputed Trump's "false narrative" about falling mortality rates on Facebook Live, those appearances were all canceled. Peter Weber

July 1, 2020

More than a quarter of a million people have signed a petition asking that Paris Jackson please, please, please not play Jesus in a forthcoming movie called Habit, Entertainment Tonight reports.

The film is described as being about "a street smart, party girl with a Jesus fetish [who] gets mixed up in a violent drug deal and finds a possible way out: by masquerading as a nun." Bella Thorne, who is also in the movie, defended Jackson, writing that people were just mad "because Jesus is a woman" while Sia popped on Twitter to tell Jackson "I love you, keep going."

Notably, the petition calls for the movie to be halted on the grounds that it is "blasphemous" and "Christianophobic garbage," and not because it just sounds truly terrible. Jeva Lange

See More Speed Reads